FEAR OF FLYING? Let Soul be your co-pilot
Fear of traveling, especially through the air by plane, is a common problem I hear in my therapy office.
I don’t love flying either.
The fear of flying is rooted in a feeling of being out of control. Doing something “I usually don’t do” and in the hands of another person, the pilot, and affected by all kinds of unknowns…
Has the airplane been serviced properly?
Is it old and could it break down?
What about inclement weather?
Has the pilot been drinking?!
Our Ego, the part of us that is firmly attached to this particular person that we are here on Earth, in this body, is utterly focused on keeping us safe. Because without us the ego would cease to exist. Only our Soul lives forever.
No Ego likes feeling out of control. So flying, unless you do it all the time and it’s become familiar and “safe”, can be a big trigger of fear.
Traveling to an unfamiliar destination can also add to Ego's concerns.
Ego wants to know what to expect, always.
Though, Soul loves the adventure!
For many of us, we tolerate the discomfort of travel in order to have new experiences, or for work responsibilities, or for the comfort and connection we feel when we are flying into the arms of friends or family that are otherwise out of our reach.
So, if we need to go or we desire to travel to reach these destinations but are afraid, what can we do to ease Ego, aside from taking tranquilizers!?
I’ll tell you what works for me...
1. Talk it out.
If you haven’t already, talk with someone you are traveling with (or someone you end up sitting next to on the plane, if they are friendly) about your nervousness. Don’t hold it all inside allowing it to build to a breaking point. This helps the fearful “energy” that you are generating inside move out of your system, venting it. The external validation can also help calm the scared part of you.
2. Rehearse the Trip
Before your travel day do a visualization: Get quiet and close your eyes. Envision the entire trip from before you leave your house, through the baggage check, the screening, waiting for the flight, boarding, lift off, the flight itself and the landing. Imagine the entire sequence of events going smoothly and effortlessly. Add into your vision some pleasant surprises, too, like friendly people around you or noticing the beauty of the sky while you're in the plane. Imagine yourself feeling completely at ease throughout your journey. This will help lower your pre-travel anxiety and will ALSO help you stay in that state of mind. Remind yourself of what you saw in your visualization while en route. You body will remember how it feels to be at ease and respond with more calm.
3. Create your protective bubble
While you wait to board the plane, or once you are seated on the plan, picture a large bubble of protective light. You can choose a color that feels best to you. See that light bubble encircling the entire plane. Make it really strong and vibrant. Then commit it to stay safely around the plane throughout the entire journey - firm, strong, no wavering!
4. Nurture that scared part of you
Speak to your Ego from the place of your Soul.
What does that confident and compassionate voice have to say to the fearful part of you?
If this voice doesn’t readily speak, imagine that your fearful part is a small child or a nervous animal (a type of animal you especially love). What would you say to it or do for it if you saw that it was afraid?
Once you know, picture the scared part of you again, and send that message or gesture to that part. You can send it with an embrace, or a hand on yours, a soft blanket, or symbol of support. Try to let that tenderness and care reach you, reach the scared part. Accept it. Let it in.
These 4 activities are really helpful for our Egos. Attend to the Ego’s travel fears in these ways and experience a shift from the state of fear and anxiety to the calming presence of your Soul sitting beside you on your journey.
Not quite sure if you know how to communicate with your Soul like this? Find out if your Soul is trying to communicate with you...
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